A life-limiting illness is a chronic disease or condition that doesn’t respond to curative treatments, leading to a terminal diagnosis. Having a life-limiting illness qualifies a patient for hospice.
Cancer is the most common such illness. Others include:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- ALS (“Lou Gehrig’s Disease”)
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Heart disease or congestive heart failure
- Emphysema and other respiratory diseases
- Liver disease
- End-stage renal disease
Hospice may also be appropriate for those patients who have several conditions that, when considered together, leave their health fragile and shorten their life expectancy.